A randomized controlled trial of a community-based obesity intervention utilizing Motivational Interviewing and community resource mobilization for low-income families: Study protocol and baseline characteristics

Contemp Clin Trials. 2021 Nov 18;106626. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2021.106626. Online ahead of print.


Low-income, racially diverse families with one parent with obesity are at high risk for child obesity. Effective approaches to promote healthy behaviors and prevent additional weight gain in family members are needed. A small pilot demonstrated the feasibility and acceptability of a lifestyle behavior change intervention combining Motivational Interviewing (MI) and community resource mobilization. Use of existing resources and flexibility to meet family needs make this a sustainable, acceptable intervention for high-risk families. Low-income families (n = 236) with one parent with obesity and at least one child aged 6 to 12 years were recruited to participate in a randomized control trial (RCT). Families receive a 12-month intervention combining health coaching using MI to promote lifestyle behavior change goals (diet, physical activity, sleep, water consumption, etc.) and community resource mobilization to assist with basic needs (heating, housing) and resources to aid in the lifestyle behavior change goals (physical activity and diet resources). The intervention was modeled on community-based participatory research principles. Data collected at baseline, 6 months, 12 months, and 18 months includes questionnaire data, body measurement data, and accelerometer data. If the intervention is deemed effective, it will have the potential to demonstrate that the combination of MI, resource mobilization, and utilization of existing community organizations is a sustainable model to assist families at risk for obesity.

Keywords: Children; Family; Motivational Interviewing; Obesity; Randomized controlled trial; Social determinants of health.